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feel good food that's good for you

Griddled Bread & Halloumi Salad with Green Tahini Dressing // food to glowTo mangle a well-known English phrase: dressings maketh salad. This might not be strictly true, but dressings and sauces can certainly be deal-breakers.

Dressings and sauces are the pearl necklace, Louboutins, or Hermes scarf to a simple salad. Or they should be. That just-so accoutrement that if got wrong ruins the whole look – or taste; but if spot-on is oh so right. And not showy about it.

Griddled Bread & Halloumi Salad with Green Tahini Dressing // food to glowI try and get round potential dining out disappoint by doing that American trick of asking for dressing on the side. This simple request – that I transplanted to Edinburgh in the late 1980s – used to elicit a pause at politest, and a “why?” at worst. Followed swiftly by “no”. Now it is as common as asking for a doggy bag. I say why ruin perfectly acceptable vegetables with an ill-judged, mouth-puckering vinaigrette, or sweet as candy Russian dressing? “On the side” gives you portion control and most importantly, taste control.

Making your own dressing or sauce – this one does double duty – is the ultimate in culinary control. Compare a shop-bought hollandaise with a homemade one. Or a strident yet weirdly sweet jarred pasta sauce with your own, stirred-with-love effort. No comparison. Dressings are even easier. And have just as much impact. Get that acid to oil balance just right and you have a friend for life. The 3:1 ratio of oil to acid is where good dressings begin.

This simple dressing/sauce is one of my favourites, although it doesn’t strictly adhere to the above classic ratio.  I have made versions of this off and on for all of my adult life (i.e. a long time); before I even knew that other people were doing the same and serving it in restaurants and publishing it in books. It is highly tweakable, so if this is your kind of sauce, just make it your own. Add more garlic. Use dried mint rather than fresh (dried mint is not inferior, just different). Leave out the mint altogether. Up the tahini. Your call.

The grilled bread salad is perfect here – giant homemade croutons are always welcome on my salads – but this is also addictively more-ish with torn bits of fresh sourdough bread, spring crudités, stirred into nubbly grain salads and drizzled over room temperature sweet roasted root vegetables.

As manners maketh man I wouldn’t recommend bringing this in to a restaurant. But as dressings maketh salad, choose wisely and ask for the dressing on the side. 🙂

Green Tahini Sauce // food to glow

green tahini sauce with a homegrown carrot

Grilled Bread Garden Salad with Green Tahini Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Good bread, grilled with slices of squeaky, minty halloumi cheese and added to a selection of summer vegetables is my best summer salad. But really, the green tahini sauce is the star. Pour it on anything and everything. xx

1 small garlic clove

40g (0.8 oz/ ¾ packed cup) chopped parsley and coriander/cilantro – your call about the balance

1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh mint

4 tbsp water (more as needed)

1 tsp preserved lemon, minced (optional, but for me essential)

2 tbsp tahini (toasted sesame seed paste)

Juice of ½ large lemon – about 2 tbsp

½ tsp honey or other equivalent other sweetener (optional)

½ tsp ground coriander seed (freshly ground if possible)

Salt, to taste (I start with a three-finger pinch and go from there)

1. Place the garlic, herbs and water in the bowl of a small food processor/hand blender. Pulse to blend. Add in the remaining ingredients and blend until you get a mostly but not completely smooth sauce. Taste and adjust as needed.

Serve with this salad or as a dip for crudités, bread, to stir into grain and bean salads or pour over roasted vegetables.

Griddled Bread & Halloumi Salad with Green Tahini Dressing // food to glow

Grilled Bread Garden Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Add in whatever looks good at the time of year you are making this. For end-of-summer we have been eating the following:

1 pack of halloumi cheese, sliced about ¼ inch thick (or use something like feta or mozzarella and don’t grill it)

1 small flute of good bread, sliced on the diagonal or in rounds (about 5-6 small pieces per person)

2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 sweetcorn cob, stripped of the kernels (or use defrosted frozen – about 1/3 cup)

Cupped handful of sugarsnap peas, stringed

Mixed salad and herb leaves – some mild and some bitter

Tomatoes, sliced

Cucumber

Carrots, julienned, sliced or spiralised (the more surface area that is exposed, the sweeter the taste)

Special equipment: Griddle pan

1. Rub the griddle pan with a little bit of the oil and heat to low-medium. Add the halloumi slices and cook on both sides until soft and striped. Set aside.

2. Slick the bread slices with the oil and griddle on both sides until toasty and marked. Set aside.

3.Add the sweetcorn to the pan and cook until the kernels smell nutty and are browned in places. Don’t cook it too long or it will get hard and chewy.

4. Layer up all of the ingredients and serve with the green tahini sauce.

Griddled Bread & Halloumi Salad with Green Tahini Dressing // food to glow

Some halloumi recipes from others:

Halloumi Vegetable Skewers – Hungry Healthy Happy

Grilled Tomatoes and Peppers with Halloumi – Coffee & Vanilla

Asparagus, Halloumi & Potato Curry – Deena Kakaya

Grilled Halloumi with Strawberries and Herbs – Epicurious

 Grilled Halloumi & Minted Zucchini Sandwiches – NYT Food

Falafel & Halloumi Kebabs – Tinned Tomatoes

And a couple from me:

Mediterranean Vegetable & Halloumi Galette

Warm Beetroot, Halloumi, Lentil and Pepper Salad

Mediterranean Vegetable & Halloumi Galette / kellie's food to glow

Mediterranean Vegetable & Halloumi Galette / kellie’s food to glow

Warm Beetroot, Halloumi, Lentil & Pepper Salad // food to glow

Warm Beetroot, Halloumi, Lentil & Pepper Salad // kellie’s food to glow

33 thoughts on “Green Tahini Sauce {to go on almost everything} + Grilled Bread Salad with Halloumi

  1. lizzygoodthings says:

    Now that looks really good, Kellie xx

  2. I think you know exactly what my response would be….very nice!!!! I’ve made a similar dressing recently substituting tahini for hemp seeds which has also been good 🙂 xx

  3. Razana says:

    What a lively plate! Full of crunch and colour. Yumm!

  4. I love a good herbed tahini sauce, and this one tops them all (no pun intended!). The mint and cilantro pairing looks so good. And you’re right, a dressing or sauce definitely has the power to make or break a dish. I often go as far as saying it’s all about the toppings (or dressing in this case) ;-).

  5. J.A Lopez says:

    that food is making me so hungry! yum! 😀

  6. Sounds amazing Kellie!! I can’t believe I have never tried tahini…
    And thank you for mentioning my recipe.

  7. Lovely lively recipe and right up my street, delish! Thanks Kellie, another great way to spice up the day x

  8. Salad does need a good dressing! The vibrant preserved lemon and creamy tahini make for a wonderful addition to any vegetable dish!

  9. A // W // F says:

    I’m with you … I always make homemade dressings! Whenever I go to a dinner party now, the host asks me to bring a salad; I guess I’ve gained a reputation in our circle for being the “salad person.” And it’s funny, but making a good salad is SO easy … It’s all about the dressing!! Can’t wait to try this one; maybe it’ll make an appearance at the next dinner party. 😉

    1. I am often the salad bringer as well (rarely desserts – I wonder why?…). I love making something a bit special with seemingly hum-drum ingredients.

  10. superfitbabe says:

    This is so tasty!! Looks amazing!

  11. The plate looks so vibrant.The colours are fantastic !!!

  12. cheri says:

    Hi Kellie, I just bought some halloumi cheese, never had it before, will be trying this recipe, sounds amazing.

    1. Fantastic. I hope you give it a try with some of the halloumi. But truthfully, eaten straight from the pan – no salad or anything else – is also good!

  13. Dang that looks FABULOUS! Double yum. 🙂

  14. i hate salad…and this looks AMAZING!!!

    1. Why thank you! That makes me feel very pleased to have posted this. 🙂

  15. Nico says:

    Love the colours – Rainbow food! 🙂

  16. Deniza says:

    Hi Kellie! Lovely blog with lots of delicious food! Already saved some for trying when I come home from vacation! I put tahini on Everything! Soo good …
    Keep it up and have a wonderful day!
    Deniza

    1. Thank you so much, Deniza. What a lovely comment to wake up to. i really appreciate you taking the time to stop by and leave this message. 🙂

  17. TinaManahai says:

    This looks amazing! I am now ravenous and craving halloumi !!! xx

  18. Camilla says:

    Beautiful and delicious salad Kellie, love the sound of that dressing:-)

  19. So vibrant and colourful, gorgeous photos! Can’t wait to try this, love anything with halloumi

    1. Thanks so much. Yes, anything with halloumi – espesh in the summer. 🙂

  20. Kavey says:

    I’ve never made a salad dressing like this at all, I’m very dull when it comes to salad dressings – oil, mustard, vinegar with some minor variations – but that’s probably because I eat salad too rarely. I’m going to give this dressing a try, and I do love halloumi too so perhaps try the whole dish!

  21. LOVE this recipe Kellie – so colourful and pretty. I could eat this right now for breakfast!

    1. Funnily enough, although this is just the kind of thing I might have for breakfast (I do eat salad sometimes, and almost always something green) I haven’t had this.

  22. danaeL says:

    Wow! So colorful and eye-catching!

  23. Urvashi Roe says:

    I love your analogy of the sauce and the shoes. So so true. A crisp dressing totally ruins a salad. And I love the ones you can use on everything else too.

  24. stateeats says:

    Yum! Love! So colorful and I am a huge fan of nutty tahini. I am surprised anyone in the service industry would fail to respond to a simple request for dressing on the side! Rude. – Kat

    1. It was in the 80s before the British service industry had been invented!

  25. Gregous Food says:

    Looks very nice, gotta try this as I’ve tasted a green sauce with coriander before in a bar and loved it

If you have time, I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much!

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